This great history starts with a survey of Christianity, then continues with an exploration of the "dark ages" following the fall of Rome, before proceeding with an explanation of how Europe coped with, and absorbed, the barbarians who overran the Empire. It goes on to trace the development of feudalism and Islam, and describes the harrowing survival of Byzantium throughout the brutal chaos that swirled about the Eastern Roman Empire during the 9th and 10th centuries. Discover how national monarchies and the modern nation state came into being, how the West responded to the Islamic invasions, and how Christianity penetrated into the farthest reaches of Northern Europe. Understand the dramatic repercussions of the Great Schism in Christianity and how economic change in the West almost destroyed the church. Finally, discover the events which gave rise to the magnificent flowering of the Gothic Age and the explosion of knowledge which subsequently paved the way for the Renaissance. The Middle Ages were the precursor to everything which we in the west consider "modern." This beautifully written history tells you why.
© and (P)2004 Audio Connoisseur
I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and horror the most. To improve, I read about language, psychology, spirituality, and art. I read about computer science and business for professional reasons.
No, because Charlton Griffin as the narrator. The sounds of the book are rife with heavy breathing and mouth crackles. A continual barrage of spam parallels the man's speech, a constant reminder of the human biology of a face in action rather than a text for historic concentration.
Yes, because then I could watch a map of Europe with history rather than the wind pipes and nasal passages of a crackly mouth.
This really is a somewhat disappointing diatribe on the middle ages, written for an American audience (and it tends to concentrate on explanations and rationalizations to support the world view of that audience) with a rationalization of the legitimacy of Christianity and its consequent effects on the world around it. It is almost an apologists view of the Catholic church, glossing over some of its very worst attributes and effects. The section on Jesus the man is dated and almost unbearably derivative, not history as such but a repeat of orthodox church teachings about Jesus the man.
Beyond the first section which concerns itself singly with the church, the history does become more interesting in a general sense. As a frank discussion about day to day life in the period between 500 and 1500ad it’s sadly lacking, more a compendium of dates and what happened, who begat who and which king tupped which queen and begat which royal brat and their effect on history.
This is history 101 straight out of an English prep school without any of the life a decent teacher of history always imparts. Disappointing but not without merit.
A really good listen, both informative and well-structured. It seems largely even-handed, without particular bias, and provides a very useful backdrop against which to understand many of today's political tensions. The narrator is excellent, despite a some eccentric pronounciations - for instance, he'd undoubtedly refer to an account of a perenially mislaid military pooch as a chopter on an orficer's orfen lawng lorst dorg. Finally, this is a long (lawng) book, but stands up well to being stretched out over an extended period, interspersed with other audiobooks, as it's easy to pick up the story again.
I had to turn this off before I started murdering my neighbors. The readers arrogant English accent and tonality did nothing but made me angry.
He spent 5, yes 5 chapters attempting to convince me that Christianity is the true religion, no mention of the Cathars, the sacking of Alexandria or other atrocities committed by Christian just what a great religion Christianity is.
I felt as though it was 1900 and some psychotic British Imperialist was trying to convince me of things that we know now are anything but made up history.
I truly wish practice of breaking someone on the wheel was still practiced so that I could personally break the legs of Charlton Griffen with an iron rod while impaling Briton, Christopher, and Wolff.
If you are a Anglophile in need of validation you will love this book, if you are a normal air breathing human it will drive you insane and make you want to drown the first living thing you can get your hands on.
It turned me off of any book read by an Englishman
If I could have put read hot pokers in the ears of Mr. Griffen
the part between the first sentence and the last
I wish I had my money back, this book made me feel like I had just paid for a hooker who was actually a man in drag and everyone knew but me.
Report Inappropriate Content